Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tolerance to MHC class II disparate allografts through genetic modification of bone marrow

Induction of molecular chimerism through genetic modification of bone marrow is a powerful tool for the induction of tolerance. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that expression of an allogeneic MHC class II gene in autologous bone marrow cells, resulting in a state of molecular chimerism, induces tolerance to MHC class II mismatched skin grafts, a stringent test of transplant tolerance. Reconstitution of recipients with syngeneic bone marrow transduced with retrovirus encoding H-2I-Ab (I-Ab) resulted the long-term expression of the retroviral gene product on the surface of MHC class II-expressing bone marrow-derived cell types. Mechanistically, tolerance was maintained by the presence of regulatory T cells, which prevented proliferation and cytokine production by alloreactive host T cells. Thus, the introduction of MHC class II genes into bone marrow-derived cells through genetic engineering results in tolerance. These results have the potential to extend the clinical applicability of molecular chimerism for tolerance induction (read more) Print this post

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